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The Alternative Consumer is essential reading for busy folks looking to cultivate a greener, more sustainable lifestyle. With a daily mix of eco news, product reviews and editorial, their take on the environment is fun, fresh and friendly.
Maureen O’Connor, publisher & founder
How to recycle clothes
May 9, 2008 09:13 AM - , The Alternative Consumer
One of my sisters, Kate, was spring cleaning a couple of closets recently and after sorting through things she wound up donating most of her clothes to the local church. But there was a small pile of clothes that looked ripe for the dump. Karmically, she didn’t want to deposit these pre-loved clothes into the trash bin. So she did what sisters do — asked the older one for advice. I came across a great suggestion from organicgardens.com where we discovered that cotton and wool “rags” and old leather gloves could be composted.
Strida 5.0 - the ultimate folding bike
May 7, 2008 09:39 AM - , The Alternative Consumer
I’m not a cyclist by any means but it appears to moi that Great Britain based Strida has completely conquered the concept of the folding bike. The triangular frame is constructed of lightweight aluminum and power is transferred to the rear wheels via a silent, clean Kevlar belt. Handlebars are mounted horizontally so the rider can sit comfortably upright with an excellent view potential road hazards. In about five seconds the triangular frame folds-up into a compact form that can be wheeled into an office closet, loaded into your car or taken on the train. The Strida has no external grease or oil to create a mess or ruin your carefully constructed workday fashion ensemble.
Iqua SUN Solar Bluetooth Headset
April 29, 2008 09:39 AM - , The Alternative Consumer
I have to admit I have not embraced the move to wireless headsets. I still like the feel of a traditional cell phone in my grasp. I can often mistake individuals strolling down the sidewalk yammering breathlessly on their hands-free headsets for schizophrenics talking to their imaginary friends. But enough about me”¦ For those who have more fully embraced modern technology there is the relatively plain looking, Iqua 603 SUN headset. A solar-powered Bluetooth headset for those multi-tasking commuters and type-A personalities that love their hands-free blathering with a touch of green.
Portable solar fan - what’s up with that?
April 28, 2008 07:40 AM - , The Alternative Consumer
The Portable Solar Fan has many features; it possesses a very prominent fan, it’s solar powered, it has an LED lantern, a quartz clock and it charges an MP3 player or cell phone.
Sungevity - going solar just got easier
April 23, 2008 09:36 AM - , The Alternative Consumer
California has set the ambitious goal of creating 3,000 megawatts of solar power by 2017 and has put $3.3 billion where its mouth is. Anyone considering taking advantage of these incentives is faced with the challenge of researching vendors, technology and design choices. Bay Area-based, Sungevity, has created an interesting online option for existing home owners by streamlining the site analysis process. Sungevity generates a quote for installing solar panels on your home by simply requiring that you enter your street and email addresses on their website.
Bee colonies continue to decline
April 21, 2008 07:39 AM - , The Alternative Consumer
Honey bee population declines continue to trouble the U.S. agricultural industry. America’s honey bees are responsible for pollinating more than 100 different crops worth $15 billion annually and continue to experience population decreases as evidenced by a study commissioned by Apiary Inspectors of America, (AIA). (An apiary is a bee yard or collection of hives.) An AIA commissioned survey of U.S. beekeepers estimates colony losses across the country between September 2007 and 2008 were 36.3 percent which equates to 14 percent more total losses compared to last year (note: roughly 13% of the country’s 2.4 million colonies was surveyed). Nearly 70% of losses are attributed to non-CCD causes, such as lack of food.
BigBelly Solar Trash Receptacle
April 17, 2008 08:56 AM - , The Alternative Consumer
Upon first glance you may think that a solar trash can is an extravagance municipalities can certainly do without, but perhaps we need to take a closer look. The BigBelly is a self-powered compacting trash receptacle. Instead of drawing electricity from the power grid this trash can uses solar power for 100% of its energy. From the company: “The unit takes up as much space as the ”footprint’ of an ordinary receptacle—but its capacity is five times greater. Increased capacity reduces collection trips and can cut fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by 80%. BigBelly also provides cost efficiencies from labor savings, fuel cost and maintenance savings, as well as environmental benefits from reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.”
Inexpensive residential wind turbine
April 16, 2008 08:46 AM - , The Alternative Consumer
Don’t look now but it appears residential renewable energy systems and wind power technology are getting cheaper. California based Freetricity’s E2D Windmaster is a roof-mounted small residential wind turbine that comes with an affordable price tag. Though it sports a small propeller that could prove hazardous to hummingbirds and the like (though its size and roof mounting will reduce bird and animal interactions) and doesn’t look like it could withstand hurricane-force winds, the price and benefits may make it worth exploring.
People Tree Fashion - Ethical Eco Undies
April 15, 2008 08:03 AM - , The Alternative Consumer
Since People Tree’s inception over a decade ago, founder Safia Minney’s mission has been “to set an example to the wider general public, to business and to government of Fair Trade as a form of business which is based on mutual respect between producer, trader and consumer.”